Saturday, May 21, 2011

9 Best (and Worst) Foods for Healthy Skin

I have been known to really sink my teeth into foods that are not really great for my health, my body or my skin. But, it can be so difficult to turn down the foods that we crave and that we love and enjoy eating.  Establishing a healthy skin diet can make a huge difference in how your skin flourishes and radiates.  Remember... what you are giving and feeding your body dictates whether or not you have healthy skin or problem skin.  Being food-conscious is not just important for helping you to stay fit - but also in how your skin looks and feels.

If you want youthful, flawless and healthy skin - you may want to edit your grocery list so that you are consuming a healthy and well balanced diet for your skin.  Here are 9 Best and Worst Foods you can invest in for healthier skin.

Best:  Yogurt

One of my favorite snack foods - Yogurt comes in a variety of flavors and most grocery markets have a great selection.

Dairy Products contain Vitamin A - which is an important factor when it comes to skin health.  Sticking to yogurts that are non to low fat varieties with no added sugars will be giving your body and your skin much needed protein and vitamins. Proteins & vitamins help to enhance your immune system and as a result - give you clear and vibrant skin.  Make sure not to go overboard or haywire with your consumption and keep in mind that milk consumption has also been shown to contribute to acne and clogged pores due to its sugar content and added hormones.  Drink it in moderation.

Worst:  White Bread

I will admit - I ate white bread a lot more than I really should have at one time, because it tends to be readily available and usually at a great price at my local market.  I have since switched to whole wheat or whole grain... and my family loves it because it is a part of their habits and it tastes great.  Take the time to look at your breads when shopping... whole wheat and whole grain breads are now in an abundance and you can often find a brand that your whole family likes.

High glycemic foods such as pasta, white bread and cakes have recently been linked to an increase in acne according to studies.  When buying your sliced breads or other, stick to whole grains.  Whole wheat and oats are packed full of antioxidants and have been found to be an anti-inflammatory.

Best:  Blueberries

One of my favorite fruits/berries when they are in season or even frozen from the grocers freezer... blueberries are now one of my favorite fro-yo toppings.  Pair it with your favorite frozen drinks or treats for a healthy sweet/tart addition.  During the summer... I like to make ice cubes out of lemonade and put blueberries and strawberries in side them.  Freeze them until hard and you can use it to chill your favorite drinks... including water.  It's a great twist on a lemon wedge with your water for the summer months. 

Blueberries are one of those foods that are rich in antioxidant properties and have the most antioxidants per serving compared to other commonly consumed fruits and berries.  Antioxidants have a huge impact on your skin.  It's been said that Free radicals caused by pollution and UV radiation attack skin cells and cause DNA damage  and these tasty little treats are powerful ammo in the fight against the premature aging process.

Worst:  Salt

I will admit that this is one item I use to season my many meals when I'm cooking.  Using salt in moderation is not that bad for you... but be sure not to over do it.  What I like to do to compensate for not using that much is adding extra flavor by using herbs, garlic or even onions.

Salt causes tissues to swell and may make your face seem puffy and unhealthy.  Iodized salt is especially bad in high doses as it has been shown to aggravate acne.  Check all of your pre-packages foods for their sodium content before consuming them and make sure to rince all canned vegetables, meats and beans after opening them to reduce the sodium content.

Best:  Salmon

Salmon is quite possibly one of my favorite foods... it is always stocked up in my freezer and ready to go when ever I want to eat it.  There are so many ways to eat salmon now a days... with Food Network at our fingertips... we have a plethora of recipes to choose from.  One of my favorites... is to pan sear your salmon with your favorite herbs and spices.  Then - put the fish on a bed of spring greens or arugula salad and sprinkle a little Ponzu sauce as your dressing.  A great dish for any time of the day... and very quick to make.  

Fish like salmon, which is "rich in omega fatty acids or essential fatty acids is also critical to the overall health of your skin.  Omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are responsible for healthy cell membranes and the overall health of various cells in the body.  By keeping the walls of your cells stronger, you are keeping more water in, making skin cells look more vibrant, plumper and overall more youthful.

Worst:  Candy

Let's all face it... I can be a candy junky just like the next person... and we like to indulge in it even if we know that it is bad for your teeth... but did you know it was bad for your skin?  Sometimes, we just can't help but treat ourselves to something sweet. :)

Candy is loaded with sugar and overeating sugar causes wrinkles and dull skin.  How?  It damages your collagen and elastin which are the super important fibers that keep your skin firm and youthful.  This causes your skin to become dry and leads to premature wrinkles and sagging.

Best:  Almonds

I will be honest... I love cashews more than I do almonds... but there is always a way to get a little almonds into your diet.  My trick - chop them up and use them as a topping for your favorite frozen treats or sprinkle a little on your salad.  Delish! 

Almonds are packed full of vitamin E and are rich in mono-unsaturated fat, which is a good fat that is known for lowing cholesterol and keeping cell membranes strong and intact.  This is very crucial for keeping skin youthful.

Worst:  Alcohol

I've been known to have a drink or two from time to time, either with friends or to celebrate a special occasion... or even just to relax and unwind after a long day.  However, consuming alcohol is not necessarily good for you... especially when you not using it in moderation.  Be sure - Always drink responsibly and DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE. 

Although this may not necessarily be considered food, you can consume it and therefore it is on the list.  Over indulgence of alcohol can wreak havoc on your skin.  It is extremely dehydrating to the cells within your body which includes your skin cells.  It is also known to be a cause for Vasodilatation which can be an aggressor for Rosacea.

Best:  Spinach

Quite possibly one of my favorite leafy veggies...  not only does it taste delicious but it is great for you.

This dark leafy green is not only Popeye's favorite food, it has beta carotene which is a super-charged antioxidant that helps to repair skin cells and slows down skin cancer cells.  It helps to give skin a youthful glow while preventing aging.  Spinach is also full of lutein, potassium, fiber and folate which also help with DNA repair and restores skin cells that are damaged by the sun and helps keep them cancer free.

*Parts of this post was taken from the Total Beauty Site.

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